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Guest Blog: My Journey from Postnatal Depression to Happy and Healthy with Only Girls Allowed

The following article was written by Patricia Jephson, one of the longest attending mums of the Only Girls Allowed fitness program. Cicciona’s is a proud partner with OGA and provides the childcare every week.

I started coming to OGA in January 2018. I had seen it advertised on Facebook from when it started but I couldn’t get myself there. I suffered from Postnatal Anxiety and eventually Postnatal Depression after my second daughter was born in 2016 and had recently moved to Worcester. At the start, my anxiety made it hard to leave the house but I was determined to do something to help myself.

That first session was hard. I tripped and fell flat on my face in front of everyone – it was circuits with Kirstie from Worcester Fitness Training. Then, afterwards, at the stay and play, I tried very hard to talk to the other mums but no one really spoke to me. I ended up retreating to the safety of my car, and cried on the phone to my husband.

But I was determined.

I went back the next week and the next. My daughter happily went off to play in the creche with Sarah and the other creche team members from Cicciona’s. I felt happy that she was in excellent hands. Slowly, I got to know Sarah and Laura (before she went on maternity leave) and then I got to know the other women who came most weeks.

Coming to OGA has been great for my confidence because I have had the opportunity to try things that I’ve never done before and have had a great time doing it! That hour every week when I don’t have to worry about anyone but me is invaluable; and my time at OGA has been one of the supports that helped me to overcome the anxiety and depression.

I think it’s also been good for my daughter because she has grown in confidence when I am not there. This meant that when she started nursery so that I could start my business, it wasn’t a shock and she was happy to go and play without mummy. She now asks if she is going to play with Sarah on Wednesdays and my older daughter is gutted that it doesn’t run during school holidays so that she could go too.

Last October, my confidence in myself was great enough that I started my own web design business, Black Pear Web Design, and Sarah was my first client!

I am so grateful for Kat and the Worcester Warriors Community Foundation because this program has had such a positive impact on my life. Now that I am expecting again, I hope to help in the creche on days that I can’t participate in the exercise. I want other mums to have the opportunity that I had to have that one hour to themselves. And I know I will be back with a new little one in tow.

If you are thinking of coming but struggle like I did, please come. Find me, I will be a familiar face happy to see you every week!

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Why on earth did I choose the name Cicciona’s ?!

It’s unpronounceable and it turns out it is really quite rude in Italian too.

This year I looked into changing the name but here’s why it’s a keeper –

The Nanny position I had in Italy was with a 6 month old baby girl (she’s now nearly 21 yrs old) every lunchtime & dinnertime I met with the family and lots of extended family for noisy mealtimes at Nonna’s house, on arrival Virginia would be bear hugged by Nonna and her cheek squeezed with an ‘Oh Cicciona!’

Through my broken Italian I took this to mean cute/chubby/cherub, loving words and the very essence of a doting Italian Grandmother.

Actually with a little help from google translation its more along these lines –

chubster /fatso /lardass / porker

In my defense for clearly not doing any proper research in to the word, it isn’t what you’d expect from Nonna.

This year we went on a family holiday to Italy, visiting Cento to see the family I had Nannied for 20 years ago. I took the opportunity to have a proper chat with Barbara, mother of said chubster child about whether it really is too rude and should be changed.

Yes Barbara agreed, it is rude BUT it is also very funny and definitely a keeper and yes… Nonna is one rude lady.



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You can have it all, we did ! Read on for how.

August 2017, the long awaited Wedding of my little brother !

From the start we all knew we wanted a Creche ;

To my Brother and his wife it was important they celebrated the day with the whole family and friends, the children are very much part of all our celebrations, but they also knew from babysitting the little treasures their limitations and wanted to know there was time for the adults to have some fun time too.

I, as a Mum to three boys, Bridesmaid with husband as an Usher needed to know there would be time to catch up with family & the boys would have time out to PLAY.

My boys 12, 10 & 4 along with 9 year old Niece know all about Creche’s from seeing the van loaded up ready for a Wedding Day. For my 4 year old Uncle Luke’s ‘crash’ couldn’t come too soon, getting his hands on all the lovely Arts and Crafts and those toys…..

The Bella Bello Boxes worked perfectly, entertaining all the children in Church, I love the picture below of my youngest, page boy clutching his Bello Box under his arm after the Ceremony.

The Boxes were still with the children the next day, the super hero masks were fun for all, my youngest played with his box while people cleaned up around him and the stretchy man was involved in a how far will he stretch competition – an amazingly long way !!

While the Wedding continued late into the night the children were fast asleep watched over by the Wedding Nannies. My Brother arranged big kid toys for the next day (see picture of Mule below) and a BBQ. Our children were all well slept and ready for the fun.

I think the pictures say it all ; the day was a wonderful mix of tears, belly laughing, gin drinking with cousins we don’t get to see enough. Thank you Rachel Lilly the photos are fabulous !!